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Opinion
Eli Lake

The Coronavirus Is Not a Reason to Lift Sanctions on Iran

Even in the regime’s moment of need, its proxies continue to attack and it remains defiant.

Tehran, March 15, 2020.

Tehran, March 15, 2020.

Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did something unusual last week. In an open letter to the American people, he appealed to their conscience to end the sanctions against his country.

The context, of course, was the coronavirus. The pandemic has closed schools, canceled public ceremonies and suspended businesses, he wrote, and yet the sanctions on Iran remain. “Can the American people accept that these malicious pressures are brought to bear on the Iranian people in their name, as a result of their vote, and by the means of their taxes?” he asked.